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HURCON timelines change to prevent confusion

The hurricane condition (HURCON) timeline recently changed at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C, to become compliant with Air Force Manual 10-2504, which requires HURCON revision to match other services’ guidance and prevent confusion at joint bases in threat areas. Changes include when the levels will be implemented and the addition of HURCON 1C (caution). (U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

The hurricane condition (HURCON) timeline recently changed at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C, to become compliant with Air Force Manual 10-2504, which requires HURCON revision to match other services’ guidance and prevent confusion at joint bases in threat areas. Changes include when the levels will be implemented and the addition of HURCON 1C (caution). (U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Team Shaw’s hurricane conditions timelines recently changed.

The updates were made in response to Air Force Manual 10-2504, Air Force Incident Management Guidance for Major Accidents and Natural Disasters, which requires HURCON revision to match other services’ guidance and prevent confusion at joint bases in threat areas.

The previous HURCON levels ranged from 5 to 1, including 1E, emergency, and 1R, recovery. The updates include changes to the current levels and the addition of HURCON 1C, caution.

“Prior to the AFM changes, installations would transition into HURCON 5 June 1, the start of Hurricane season,” said Staff Sgt. Catrina Rouse, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of plans and operations. “Now we will only be transitioned to HURCON 5 if we are expecting a hurricane or surface wind increase to 58 miles or more within 96 hours.”

The replacement chart in the AFM states commanders may direct the installation to stay in HURCON 5 for the entire hurricane or Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 5 status for the tropical cyclone season, but doing so is discouraged because it could cause the installation population to become complacent.

By being aware of the HURCON timelines, Airmen and their families can be better prepared to respond when conditions change.

“Being educated on the different HURCON levels and their meanings will prove to be beneficial because the more prepared for a hurricane you are, the better chances of survival you have,” said Staff Sgt. Tierra Barber, 20th Fighter Wing occupational safety technician. “Awareness of the HURCON changes is important for the base population because it allows for adequate preparation to take place. Designated travel routes, emergency kits and research on evacuation shelters for families, as well as pets, can take place before the start of the hurricane season.”